Jadeite Cabbage
Reproduction from the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei. 


Original artwork information:

Jadeite Cabbage with Insects
Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1911)

This piece is almost completely identical to a piece of bokchoy cabbage. Carved from verdant jadeite the familiar subject purity of the white vegetable body and brilliant green of the leaves all create for an endearing and approachable work of art. Let's also not forget the two insects that have alighted on the vegetable leaves! They are a locust and katydid which are traditional metaphors for having numerous children. This work originally was placed in the Forbidden City's Yung-ho Palace which was the residence of the Kuang-hsü Emperor's (r. 1875-1908) Consort Chin. For this reason some have surmised that this piece was a dowry gift for Consort Chin to symbolize her purity and offer blessings for bearing many children.

Additional Information:

  • material: Glass
  • size: 4 inches